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Gencon Booth - Thoughts?


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I was a little dissapointed with the gencon booth this year. First, the display case had unpainted miniatures displayed and it was hard to tell who was who. Also, the demo tables, were neat the way they were build, but they were all black instead of painted up. Why wasn't there a terra clips demo table? Also, there was only one guy there on Friday doing demos. This gentlemen was very nice and very helpful, but it took a while to get a demo. Also, the demo armies were not painted.

I also noticed some of the box sets were not in shrink wrap. I did buy a 10 thunders box set and I can't find the online instructions, why weren't they in the box.

On the plus side the malifaux models I saw where very cool. I like their product and I like the revised edition quite a lot. But I feel they could have made a better impression at gencon.

Thoughts?

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None of the boxes have instructions in them, they're always online. The box sets should be shrink wrapped though, can't comment as to why they weren't.

I don't think the new sets from GenCon have had their instructions uploaded yet. Which ten thunders set was it?

The stock was all flown out straight to GenCon, which is probably why nothing was painted. Which is a shame because I think it detracts a lot from the appeal for potential players.

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Wyrd doesn't have in house painting studio, and I much rather have at least product shown and in base plastic than no product at all. Additionally paint is highly subjective as to what good what not's and that is separate issue. But fair enough perhaps something to work on for next time. The booth itself was very cool looking and really stood out and had a phenomenal location for foot traffic and exposure. The poster art was plentiful and beautiful. Product was in strong supply throughout and the dedicated wyrd cosplay for the weekend was top notch. 

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Wyrd doesn't have in house painting studio, and I much rather have at least product shown and in base plastic than no product at all. Additionally paint is highly subjective as to what good what not's and that is separate issue. But fair enough perhaps something to work on for next time. The booth itself was very cool looking and really stood out and had a phenomenal location for foot traffic and exposure. The poster art was plentiful and beautiful. Product was in strong supply throughout and the dedicated wyrd cosplay for the weekend was top notch.

I agree with all this. Malifaux has such potential with their incredible models, the unique game mechanics and the fluff created. I want to see the game grow and was hoping for a little better showcase of the models and more demo tables. However, I know running a small business is very tough and there is not a ton of money to throw around on painters and convention stuff.

Hopefully they drew in some new players and the game continues to grow.

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When showing new miniatures on shows I think unpainted is pretty common, to show them as they "really are". Unpainted demo crews comes across as unprofessional though, and even if you don't have full time painters employed you can always commission some crews. Demo crews doesn't need to be painted to some super high quality either so it need not be that expensive.

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Sure, you can make the argument that Wyrd doesn't have the cash flow to justify an inhouse painting team, but you're telling me that nobody that works in the head office of a miniatures gaming company can paint to a high standard?

I like the suggestion that they could use the community to provide the painting. But no matter how you try to frame your argument, you can't go to the largest industry event of the year without painted miniatures if you want to grow your consumer base. We all know how good the game is, know how lovely the figures are, and the inclusiveness of the awesome community that surrounds the game and Wyrd as a company. Random GenCon attendee doesn't, so their footfall sales are more likely to go to Infinity and WarmaHordes.

Having worked in the TCG industry, where volunteer judges are a convention essential, the best solution is probably to have some Henchmen demo the game with their own painted crews, and comp them with product and GenCon badges for each day worked. That way you get painted crews, enthusiastic 'sales' staff, and a proper chance to inthrall new customers.

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<snip>

Having worked in the TCG industry, where volunteer judges are a convention essential, the best solution is probably to have some Henchmen demo the game with their own painted crews, and comp them with product and GenCon badges for each day worked. That way you get painted crews, enthusiastic 'sales' staff, and a proper chance to enthrall new customers.

 

Yesterday I was ready to give Wyrd a pass on the unpainted minis at Gencon, but having read additional comments I want to retract the message I never posted.  

 

I can understand the desire to run demo games using the newest release minis, but I agree with other posters that unpainted minis are not going to attract new players the way painted minis would.  Somewhat older crews that are already painted would likely make a better impression than the newest stuff unpainted.  Gencon booth sales might suffer a bit, but overall sales should improve.  (A new release crew, painted, would be best, but getting that to happen is likely tough.)

 

If volunteers are already common then Henchman with painted crews comped with badges and/or product is the way to go for demo games.  Not sure how much of a headache it would be for Wyrd to get badges to folks, but enthusiastic hobbyists demoing your game while you worry about managing the business of the booth seems a good way to go.

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Sure, you can make the argument that Wyrd doesn't have the cash flow to justify an inhouse painting team, but you're telling me that nobody that works in the head office of a miniatures gaming company can paint to a high standard?

 

I totally agree. And having photographed some models at an L.A Golden Demon Competition in the past, painted by one of the core members of the Wyrd staff, I find it odd that the display models were unpainted. The ones I photographed about 10 years ago were incredible, actually. I can only think that painter has gotten even better.

 

And I certainly agree that Henchmen in the area should have come out to run demos and brought painted models to showcase and/or fill the demos. I didn't go to GenCon, but had I been there, I would have been a little let down by the booth by these facts, as well. Hell, if Wyrd has taken volunteers for painted crews, I would have sent a crew just for them to use on demos, maybe for a Miss Ery model in return. :)

 

I know that getting everything ready for GenCon is a HUGE deal, though some of the smaller details, when overlooked or pushed farther down on priority, do make a big difference to the gaming community and to the fans. Malifaux's miniatures are SO unique and eye-catching, it's really a shame that they weren't showcased more heavily. When put up against every other miniatures game in the world, one has to pour everything into what makes them stand out. The gorgeous miniatures (and paint jobs enhance that) draw us in... the game play and mechanics keep us coming back.

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A good painter can hide a bad sculpt - I'd rather see the sculpts than the skill of some professional painters if I'm going to be buying the minis.

 

Also I get the weird feeling that Wyrd would hire someone who paints like the Forge World team, which is always an exercise in grit and dirt and "how muted can we make this?" which is always an absurdly huge turn-off for me until I see their stuff unpainted.

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You should show both side by side. Or even better, all three stages: sprue, assembled, painted. 

 

That'd actually be a fair idea if it weren't for the limited real estate.  In the event of only having enough space for one, I'd prefer to see them assembled, unpainted so I have a good idea of what I'm going to be dealing with when it comes time to really get the purchases I make game-ready.

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We had the unassembled, assembled, and painted models were easy to find. Also, some henchmen were demoing with painted models.

It's impossible to please everyone, but we did have quite a few ways to see the product or get demos.

That said, feedback is always helpful. I'm reading it, and we talk about ways to improve in the future.

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In a perfect world sure. But having been around for the alt viks episode were the paint and photographs were so poor it actually had people hating the model till they got it. I tend to be firmly in the just the model camp. Studio paint job I'll never be able to replicate don't sell me anything. There was plenty of visuals to draw peeps in outside of having a few painted models for the vendor hall demo table. The primary demo area and play area had painted sets AZ the people doing the demos had brought them and most were henchman

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I think the booth looked great. I agree with ideally there should be painted and assembled versions in the case. The wyrd crew would not have had time to paint the models with getting Through the Breach out the door, getting everything packed for gencon and such. Painted demo crews should have been. We henchmen tried to pull our painted models when we had them in the event hall. But we didn't always have them with us. Next year I will pack differently.

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I just want to make it clear that I wasn't at GenCon, so my comments are based purely on past convention experience with other products and what people have been saying on the forums and the pictures from twitter and instragram. In a perfect world, Wyrd has infinite space at low cost to display their products, and can get new figures delivered to their offices ahead of the convention to prepare for a broader display of their ranges. 

 

I think the critical point, relating to unpainted figures, is that any figures that are being used to demo should absolutely be painted. Figures in a display case just being assembled to show off the sculpts would appeal to me as a consumer, but then I have a longstanding connection with miniatures gaming and that aspect of the gaming hobby. If somebody wants a demo, they're not going to be happy to look at and play with unpainted figures.

 

Obviously it's the one demo table that's getting the slack for that, but once again as a community we can instantly see the employee interaction that they're always reading and listening to any and all feedback, which is a hugely positive thing and why having only been attached to the hobby for the briefest of periods I feel confident that my time and fiscal investment in Malifaux is being cared for. 

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In regards to not liking studio painted models: so what? Its not for you. In all honesty its not for any of us. We already own the models, will buy them, and play the game.

The alt Vicks proved that. People here didn't like what was shown but bought them anyway.

The purpose of con presence is to attract new blood. Show off the best in a catchy and fun manner. Show how much fun a skirmish game set in a crazy hodgepodge world can be. Not please people who already have huge collections and years of play experience.

What we get is the early releases and nightmare models. Its not about you. Its not about me. Its about spreading the word and growing a community.

Wyrd has already gone against the grain with the setting and scale of the game. You cant expect to succeed by going completely against the norm.

I know this post seems over dramatic but it matters. Great games die for reasons that are preventable.

I'm sure I have more to say and this post is probably horribly scatter brained. But posting from a phone sucks :)

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I must say, that while I agree with the reasoning for Wyrd not painting models for studio and display, I have bought models, and into entire games, such as Infinity and Dark Age just because of the beautifully painted miniatures on display at Gencon. I really appreciate the painting articles in the Chronicles, and seeing Mako's models last year was great, but the display cases at Corvus Belli, CMoN, and Privateer do a lot of selling, I think, both at Cons, and online.

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There's no denying that cases of painted Infinity and Dark Age minis and even prepainted X-wing and Armada minis received more air time in Gen Con coverage than Wyrd minis this year. This is a lost opportunity, especially considering that Gen Con is Wyrd's biggest event of the year.

Wyrd may not want to commit to having every model in the line professionally painted, as that would be hundreds of models. Fortunately, this community is a great resource to draw from.

This community already punches above its weight in terms of painting chops and could be leveraged to showcase amazing painted miniatures. Wyrd could have one case in the booth dedicated to minis painted by the community, such as those seen in the recent online painting competitions and Wyrd chronicles.

The display would demonstrate multiple painting styles, which would show new players a range of painting options and interpretations of Malifaux and should also allay fears already voiced in this thread of any one painting style becoming dominant.

Booth real estate is an issue, but I'd argue that one case would more than pay for itself in terms of sales generated and media bandwith occupied.

Wyrd could even send invitations to accomplished painters in the community who could then request a free mini to paint and then send back to Wyrd and Justin or Eric would then bring this collection of minis to cons. There could be some rewards program for painters but, so long as the miniatures are provided for free, I'm certain that many of us would happily donate painting time to Wyrd to help grow the game.

Also, demo crews should absolutely be painted.

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I'm glad there's an active GenCON thread that people are discussing in a positive manner.  The worse possible thing would be to have Wyrd not review gamer feedback when they get back to thier offices this week.  Sadly, I wasn't there this year (curse you, job!) but if the people who attended are skimming through these posts here's my suggestions:

 

Painted demo minies and terrain, yes

You're better off starting to paint figs and terrain now and having a library of models ready for next year.  Six to nine months (or whenever) is better than a whole lot of work at the last minute.  Don't paint them to a high standard; tabletop is fine.  If they get stolen you're not crying in your beer.

 

Display minis, yes

A happy medium would be a painted final product next to the sprue so they can look at both painted and unpainted.  Of course this is dependant on how much time you have before the Con.

 

And finally, don't skimp on the help.  If you can get a couple local Henchmen, treat the convention like an event (which it is) and throw them some swag.  Maybe a bit more since they're doing it for several long days.  And buy everybody working the weekend some candies to suck on.  I bought Jolly Ranchers to hand out when i had to do events similar to this and got to keep my voice.

 

Hope this helps and hope to see you next year.

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I agree that painted minis are great and can attract new players, but there are certainly considerations for having the unpainted crews at the con.

While painted display minis certainly show how good the models can look, the assembled, but unpainted models show the customer what they are "actually getting", and the booth also had several actual sprues out as well, so we could show potential customers the amount of necessary assembly so they went into their potential purchase with eyes wide open.

As far as the demo crews being painted, by Sunday afternoon, most of the demo crews we were using were missing arms, weapons, and other pieces, due to the amount of use by the players, some of which were likely eager to play, but not accustomed to handling the models with the level of care necessary to maintain them in one piece. It would have been tragic to have the time and resources put into painting all of them, to end up in the same condition.

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